January 15, 2017
January 15: National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day
Islander grew up with a calamansi tree in the backyard of her childhood home in Hawaii. When the tree bore a lot of fruit, her Daddy would pick a bunch of the “Philippine lime” and squeeze out the juice, making the whole kitchen smell so citrusy! Canned calamansi juice just isn’t the same—it tastes tinny—and doesn’t have that labor of love from Daddy for the family.
Following the theory of the “Proust Effect” that certain scents trigger memories, calamansi juice is definitely a delicious reminder of Islander’s small kid time “hanabata days” in Hawaii and of her Filipino heritage.
Don’t be fooled by the fruit, though. Calamansi looks like a mini tangerine when ripe. But it tastes super sour (like a lime) on its own and really needs to be juiced, diluted with water and sweetened with sugar. The recipe is quite simple and calamansi juice is very healthy and refreshing.
For a tart and tasty beverage for National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day, make calamansi juice.
- 1 cup calamansi juice, fresh squeezed
- 4 cups water, divided use
- ½ – ¾ cup sugar, granulated white (or other sweetener to taste)
Wash the calamansi well and let dry. Cut the calamansi from the top to avoid slicing through the seeds. Squeeze the fruit in a strainer to make 1 cup of juice, discarding the seeds.
Place the juice in a large bowl or pitcher. In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Let cool completely. Add to the calamansi juice mixture. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of water. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Pour into glasses and serve with or without ice.
- Sugar dissolves better in hot water. That is why we boil them together to make a simple syrup to sweeten the fresh squeezed calamansi juice.
- Use less water when diluting the juice if serving with ice cubes.
- Calamansi is also known as calamondin. Learn more about its health benefits and culinary uses from Wikipedia.
December 15, 2016
December 15: National Cupcake Day
Highlander’s co-worker, Luchie A., has invited us to her house in the Gulf Coast of Texas to pick calamansi from the tree in her backyard. We have gathered grocery bags full of the fruit for ourselves and for friends. We typically squeeze all the little Philippine limes to make delicious fresh squeezed fruit juice. We also reserve a bit of the liquid to make calamansi cupcakes for Luchie and the other co-workers. The cupcakes are always a big hit with everyone in Highlander’s office.
National Cupcake Day occurs during the holiday season when cookies are frequently exchanged. But cupcakes are a sweet choice to share, too. If calamansi juice is available, use it to make this terrific and tart treat.
For the calamansi cupcakes
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar, granulated white
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup calamansi juice, fresh squeezed or bottled/boxed/canned
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Beat in the eggs. Stir in the vanilla.
Pour in the calamansi juice. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add this mixture gradually to the other ingredients. Blend until the batter is smooth (it will be thick).
Scoop into cupcake papers and place in muffin tins. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting the calamansi cupcakes.
For the calamansi buttercream frosting
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2+ tablespoons calamansi juice
In a large bowl, cream the butter with the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar. Thin to a spreadable consistency with the calamansi juice. Use Wilton tip 1M in a piping bag and decorate the top of each cupcake with swirls.
- Squeeze more juice from many calamansi fruits for a refreshingly tart drink. See our easy recipe for calamansi juice for National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day on January 15.
- Maraming salamat (thank you very much in Pilipino/Tagalog) to Luchie A. for the calamansi!